Saturday, February 23, 2013

Salmon Ochazuke + Quick Japanese Cucumber Salad


I recently bought a new kettle/teapot and I've been in tea heaven! I love tea and I used to have an old metal kettle which started rusting, believe it or not, so I went shopping on Amazon and saw an awesome glass kettle. It now doubles as both my kettle and teapot (since I prefer loose tea) and I've been sipping tea all day long on a daily basis this week.

This kettle is called the Medelco 12-cup Glass Stovetop Whistling Kettle (available on Amazon at this link) and this little marvel works on both gas and electric stovetops. It sure does whistle and the handle and lid, amazingly, does not get too hot to handle.

I purchased a stainless steel tea mesh ball also and with this combo, I can now do away with my old teapot as well. After the water boils, I pop in the mesh ball with my tea leaves, hang it on the side of the kettle and let it steep until it's ready.


My tea of choice is usually genmaicha (brown rice tea). It has a mix of roasted brown rice and tea leaves and imparts a fragrant, nutty aroma and flavor.

Since I've been drinking so much tea, I decided to also make salmon Ochazuke for an easy dinner. Ochazuke is a dish in which hot tea is poured over rice and eaten with various toppings. It makes for a light meal or snack and is filling and healthy at the same time. For added crunch, I served it with a refreshing Japanese cucumber salad and dinner was served in about 20 minutes flat.

Quick Japanese Cucumber Salad
Makes 6 servings.
Weight Watcher PointsPlus per serving: 1 pt.

Make this quick cucumber salad and allow it to marinate and chill in the fridge while you prepare the salmon.

2 Japanese or Persian cucumbers, or 1 English cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. roasted sesame seeds

In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, sugar, salt and sesame seeds together. Add the cucumber slices and toss to coat. Cover and allow to chill and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Salmon Ochazuke
Serves 2.
Weight Watcher PointsPlus per serving (based on 1/2 cup rice and 3 oz. salmon): 7 pts.

6 - 7 oz. salmon fillet
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 - 2 cups brewed hot tea (green tea, genmaicha or other mild tasting tea works best)
1 tsp. sea salt

Toppings (pick your favorites):
Scallions, chopped
Nori / laver seaweed, shredded
Roasted sesame seeds
Furikake (available at Asian markets or on Amazon)
Shiso leaves, chiffonade
Umeboshi (salted plums)
Pickled ginger



Wash the salmon fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Place it skin side down on a baking sheet lined with foil. Salt the top of the fillet generously with sea salt.


Broil the salmon fillet for about 10 minutes until the top is browned.


Place a 1/2 cup of brown rice in a bowl and top with shredded salmon. It should flake easily. Pour about 1/2 cup of tea over the rice and salmon and garnish with your toppings of choice. Serve with the chilled cucumber salad.


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